Brazil Online Casino Guide

Gambling Industry Overview in Brazil

The following approaches will be presented

  • Gambling legislation in Brazil
  • Gambling authorities in Brazil
  • Online casinos in Brazil
  • and more

The largest country in South America – Brazil – has proclaimed gambling as illegal, but that does not mean the local citizens will be prevented from wagering. Both games of chance and and gambling are long known to the citizens of the country, but there were a lot of ups and downs in the permission regime due to the fact that Brazil’s Government forbade and allowed those practices many times.

Flag of BrazilCurrently, the country is one of the major emerging markets when it comes to online gambling. It, however, still needs to regulate a great part of its gambling market due to the fact its legislation is quite old. Only horse betting and lotteries have legal regulation in Brazil up to date. The country has not yet regulated online gambling.

History of Gambling Legislation in Brazil

Most forms of gambling activities were permitted in the country until the end of the World War II. In 1946, the President Dutra outlawed all traditional casinos and games offered there, as well as sports betting. Only horse betting and lotteries were allowed in Brazil.

Both the President Dutra and his Social Democratic Party intended to put a tap on organized crime by making different forms of gambling illegal. The unauthorized sports betting activities were outlawed by the Criminal Contravention Act in 1941, which is still in action up to date.

The ban over gambling and sports betting still remains and we can hardly say there was any change in country’s legislation since then. Some sports betting activities, however, are currently available through the state-operator CAIXA, which has the exclusive rights of offering them.

All illegal casinos were successfully closed by the Government over the 1960s.

At the beginning of the 1990s, the country’s government changed its point of view and provided permission for the commercial exploitation of slot and bingo machines. Alas, this was over in 2004, when all bingo and slot machine activities in Brazil were almost totally banned for about nine months due to the fact that the Government was involved in a bribe scandal.

The difficulties related to these decisions are not over yet. Both bingo and slot machines still work on the territory of the country without any clear regulatory framework. In addition, the Federal Courts and the Government have put the entire industry under a lot of pressure.


Gambling Legislation in BrazilRegardless of the fact that Brazil is the biggest and also most populated country in South America, the matters of gambling activities there should be put for further review and update. Considering the economic potential the country has, as well as its increasing population, Brazil has been considered as “country of the future” and an emerging world economic power.

However, almost the full range of gambling activities were prohibited in Brazil for most of the 20th century. Some types of gambling are nowadays banned by law. The same applies to the games of chance. Currently, these activities are legal if operated by companies or establishments, which have an authorization of the country’s Government.

This makes such practices illegal if realized in private houses and between individuals who are not part of the family, hotels or other places that offer collective housing, society establishments, associations or company’s headquarters, as well as in establishments that are specifically created in order to offer such types of games.

Current Gambling Legislation

The country permitted the operation of casinos before 1946, when the Government enacted the Decree-law No. 9215. The licences, authorizations and concessions of casinos, which were previously granted by the federal, state, and municipal government, were annulled and casinos were returned under the scope of the Criminal Contravention Act.

A policy of reintroduction of casino gaming in the country has been proposed by both the tourism sector of Brazil and most international casino operators, but up to date, it is not exactly clear if such legalization of casino activities is part of the Government’s plans for the country’s future.

The Lottery is known in Brazil since the ’80s of the 18th century, after which lotteries have rapidly spread over the country. Then, until the 1960s, the administration, control and monitoring over the lotteries in Brazil was part of the responsibilities of the people selected by public bidding. In 1961, the Union and the State were determined by the President Quadros as the only authorities with competence to regulate the lottery system in the country.

Currently, Lotteries are still very popular in Brazil. They are still under the determination of the President Quadros from 1961. Each of the country’s states has the right to regulate the lotteries on the territory of the state.

Bingo is another traditional and very popular game in Brazil. It was once again legalized in 1993 with the Law Zico and the first bingo establishments appeared in the country in the year to follow.

Half a decade later, the law was replaced by Law Pelé in 1998, which allowed the exploitation of slot machines in Brazil as well. After 2001 there was no federal regulation for game and gambling houses in the country, and three years later – in 2004 – a temporary measure for the final closure of bingo establishments was signed the President Lula. The measure was not approved by the National Congress.

In other words, bingo has a problematic history in the country and is still not clear if the activities related to it are permitted by Brazilian law or not. There is no federal legislation that is dealing with bingo and slot machine operations. According to the country’s Government, both bingo and slot machines are subjected to the rules implemented in the Criminal Contravention Act.

Horse racing
Horse racing is a traditional type of entertainment, which has always been pretty popular in Brazil. This is probably the one and only type of betting action that has not been hurt by the continuous legislative uncertainty in the country, which has been having its ups and downs in the gaming and gambling industry.

Currently, horse racing is controlled by Law no. 7291 that came into action in December 1983 and its regulation from 1988. The organization of such activities is controlled and monitored by the Comissão Coordenadora da Criação do Cavalo Nacional. All companies that are willing to utilize horse betting activities need to get an authorization from the CCCCN.

The Criminal Contravention Act

The Criminal Contravention Act of 1941 officially prohibits and criminalizes the games of chance in the country. According to the rules implemented in the Act, both establishing and operating games of chance in a public place is to be subjected to imprisonment. The Act of 1941 also provides a definition to the term “games of chance”.

The Criminal Contravention Act has not been annulled yet, which is why any form of gaming activity, which has not been officially permitted with an independent piece of legislation, would be prosecuted because of falling under the scope of the Act.

Online Gambling in Brazil

Internet Gambling in BrazilThere is currently no rules involving the possibility of providing online gambling services in the Brazilian legislation. Such activities could be considered as illegal in correspondence to the Criminal Contravention Act, but the authorities in the country have proved to be not particularly efficient when it comes to stopping citizens from betting in online casinos based outside Brazil.

A bill, which would establish online sport betting activities in the national territory as illegal, has been submitted to the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies by the Deputy Luis Carlos Hauly. According to the bill proposed, sports betting games that are granted the special authorization of law and are offered by state and federal lotteries would be betting games.

In 2013, a law project that is aimed at prohibiting online gambling in Brazil was approved by the Commission of Science, Technology, Innovation, Communication and Computing. According to the law, every individual who established, operates or exploits through any type of gambling on the Internet, including all kinds of bingo and betting, is to be imposed a penalty of imprisonment and fines.

Gambling in Cruise Ships

According to Brazilian legislation, ships which have casinos, can land in the country’s territory. Players, who are travelling on the ships, are allowed to wager and play games of chance in the ship when outside the territorial waters.

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